Traveling West 2017-Texas Hill Country


Our journey continued on from Colorado, except this time instead of going farther west, we pointed the rig south. Our next destination, after a brief overnight in Oklahoma (by the way, a very scenic state, who knew?), was Texas Hill country.  We parked the rig in Cedar Park, Texas for a couple weeks, and set out to explore the area.

Welcome to Hill Country

Hill country is more or less anchored by Austin, the capital of Texas, and the fastest growing large city in the United States. I neglected to do my homework, and assumed Austin was a mid-sized city similar to Ann Arbor or Lansing. It’s not. It is not only heavily populated within the city limits, with around a million citizens, but the outlying “small” towns amount to another million. Large cities and metropolitan areas are not our favorite place to reside, but we made the best of managing the traffic, found several good hiking areas, and took a trip to the city one day.

A day in Austin

Downtown Austin, at least the area we were in, was a hotbed of activity. Countless bars and restaurants, and like every large city,  many homeless people.  It was Saturday, and the Texas Longhorns were playing. It may as well been the only college game in the nation that particular day. Every TV was tuned into the game, even if there were multiple TV’s in the room. Burnt orange jerseys dotted the landscape. The mood was jolly and raucous although it was early in the day.

We spent a few hours downtown. I had really looked forward to Austin. But I gotta tell you, I was a bit disappointed. I am guessing the real beauty of this city lies within the nightlife, and I am not a nightlife sort of person (anymore that is, I had my day!) Perhaps it was due to the football game, but I expected more music and less people. Although no more than 18 miles from Cedar Park, it took a good hour to get there. Traffic is pretty rough in the area. It was our only journey into Austin. We chose to spend the remainder of our time in the suburbs.

Don’t fall in Bruce

On the other hand, Lake Travis and the surrounding area were quite spectacular. Like many lakes in the west, Lake Travis is actually a reservoir on the Colorado River. It is a large lake spanning over 60 miles, and is used for flood control, water supply, recreation, and electrical power.

The area is called Hill Country for a reason. It’s not what one envisions when thinking of Texas, I think most of us midwestern types think of it as very flat land, and, yes indeed, much of Texas is flat as a pancake. We took several drives through the pretty rolling hills. I even saw a bit of fall color here and there. It would be a great place to ride a motorcycle if you are so inclined.

We found several good hiking areas around the area, and I got to see my very first tarantula in the wild. It wasn’t the least bit scary to me. I rather like the way it looked, all fuzzy and moving slowly. I am not a spider fan, but this guy was in no way creepy.

A sighting!

Should you travel to Hill Country, be sure and check out the Oasis on Lake Travis. Our son spent a summer in Austin training for work, and recommended we check it out. Go around sunset for optimal views. We were there during the afternoon, enjoying a cold brew, and from the view, it seemed we were in Italy somewhere under the Tuscan sun. Yeah, it’s that scenic.

The Oasis

A shot from the Oasis

The city of Cedar Park was a typical ‘burb city with all the malls, stores, chain restaurants, that tend to reside in those type of areas. We found some great city parks with nice paved trails perfect for urban hikes.

Nearby Georgetown TX is very charming with a sweet town square, and the largest police presence I have seen in any town. In fact, the whole area of metro Austin had a very large police presence.

At first, I was feeling well-protected. Then, I wondered why they need so many cops and maybe it wasn’t as safe as it appears, or maybe this is just the way they do things in Texas. It’s not, the rest of Texas, at least the other parts I have been in, have about the same amount of police patrols as we do at home in Michigan.

Pretty wildflowers in bloom

Over 2000 steps on this hike

Quiet pools to reflect upon

Lots of steps!

I certainly enjoyed my time in Texas Hill Country. It probably isn’t fair to compare it to Colorado Springs from which we had just departed. Colorado has a beauty all of it’s own. However, I just can’t help comparing one place to another.

I will say, my life is much richer from having been to this area of the Lone Star State. This is the way I feel anywhere we travel. Which is why we do it. To enrich our lives with many as new places and experiences as possible. To us, that is what life is about.

After about 6 weeks spent on the road, living in a half-packed up house (I don’t put everything away in it’s “just so” spot until we land somewhere for a few months), and putting a whole lot of miles on the Silverado, I think we were both becoming a bit road weary, and were once again yearning to be settled and find a sense of community once again to enjoy the winter months.

Next stop, Portland Texas. Our home for the season. See you there!

Fall 2017 Traveling West- Part 1 Iowa

Did you know a young fellow named Grinnell, was once told  “Go west young man?”

He did, found Iowa, settled, and named a town and a liberal arts college after himself.

I can see why he stayed and made it his home.

Iowa is one of those quiet and unpretentious states.

You know, the kind that don’t get a lot of attention despite being quite charming.  I believe the Iowans like it that way, and prefer it stays just as it is.

Corn forever

Iowa has a population of around 3,100,000. It is neither a red or a blue state in their political leanings, but rather a purple one. I got the feeling the inhabitants have a kind of “you do your thing, I’ll do mine, and we will all be happy.” Meet in the middle and all that good stuff. Solid, friendly people in small town settings were what I found.

The landscape is much hillier than I thought. Beautiful rolling fields of corn and soy beans dominate the view. I cannot possibly see how anyone could think it was less than magnificent with the John Deere green tractors pulling in the harvest.

John Deere rules here


We spent about 3 days in the state. I could have easily stayed longer.

Upon arrival at a small RV park in Kellogg IA, directly off from I 80, we quickly set up camp in order to get to the local sports pub to catch the Lions game. All TV’s were occupied when we got there, but one kind Iowan relinquished his game so we could watch ours with another Michigan couple who were also traveling through the area. The Lions lost, but it was a good game with a couple cold beers and a pizza to accompany it.

Post game antics

Beautiful location for a sunrise right in front of the rig

The next morning we enjoyed a great sunrise and set out to explore the area. We drove a few miles to Rock Creek State Park to get our hike on.

Mother Nature had other plans.

After 20 minutes out we determined it was too buggy, hot, and sticky to continue, dang!

We sat by the lake and enjoyed the drama the geese we creating instead. Afterward we left for nearby the nearby town of Newton for a less buggy urban hike on one of the towns greenways, lunch, and a trip to Walmart for supplies.

Come back Bruce!

Tranquility

The following day we opted for a 30 minute drive to Des Moines, the state capital, to see what it had to offer. With a population of around 100,000 it reminded me of my hometown, Kalamazoo MI, with it’s expanding downtown and funky vibe in the East Village area. 

The capitol building was stunning. I made a mental note to check out all capitol buildings when I am in their towns to see if any could possibly compare to this one.

Can you find all 5 domes?

The library

The only 5 domed capitol building in the US, it is filled with stained glass ceilings, marbles stairs and columns, shiny polished staircases, and artwork. There was so much to look at my eyes could barely take it all in. We saw the Senate chambers, however the senators were not working for whatever reason that day.  We were permitted to see the House chambers also, some folks were working, but it appeared to be lunch time and not many were present.

After exploring all 3 floors and receiving a personal tour of the Secretary of State office, we were becoming quite hungry and thirsty. Sightseeing can be tough work!

After a great tip from one of the workers in the office, we walked out of the capitol and straight onto Locust Street and the East Village. Travel tip, always check with the locals to find out where they enjoy eating, drinking, and recreating.

Go west!

East Village and downtown

Like most mid-sized American cities Des Moines had an area that is undergoing a revival of sorts. Old buildings full of history were scheduled to be demolished, but a group of  civic-minded citizens set about saving them, and luckily for all of us were successful in their venture.

Many eateries, drinkatoriums, and shops were available to choose from, and with a bit of help from google we found the Iowa Taproom which features only Iowa brews and also some tasty lunch specials.

Yummy food and drink

After lunch we decided on a riverwalk stroll, but to our disappointment, it was also under renovation, so we opted for a walk to another establishment for a cold beer before we left town for the day.

Sheryle is bullish on Iowa

The next morning dawned bright and clear.

Beautiful weather for another spectacular sunrise compliments of Mother Nature. We readied the rig for travel, and set about leaving the fine state of Iowa to continue our journey west. Next stop Nebraska!

Goodbye Iowa, you will always hold a special place in our thoughts and memories.

Until we meet again…

 

A Week in the Life

Friday-Game Day

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It’s game day, St Paddy’s Day, and Grandma D’s birthday all rolled into one. Oh glory, it’s gonna be a good day.

We have been anticipating this game for a couple months now, but first things first. Time to get up, drink some coffee, watch some news, and as we like to call it, get around for the day. I woke up late, a reoccuring theme this week, darn time change. So I am feeling somewhat rushed this morning.

By the time I get up, Bruce is already up, full of coffee, and preparing our snacks for tailgaiting. We like to take a cooler of snacks and water, so we don’t have to purchase overpriced ones, another plan of ours to enjoy life with minimal expense. It can be done, one just has to work at it.

We are allowed to take a bag, and some unopened bottled water into the stadium, last year you could bring unopened snacks as well, but new security measures do not allow it. Security or money? C’mon I fail to see how my unopened bag of pretzels poses any more of a security threat than my unopened water, but ok, whatever…

We get everything ready to roll, pack up the truck and head inland about 45 minutes to the city of Lakeland FL, and Joker Marchant Stadium, spring training home of the Tigers. After a quick stop to pick up some beer for our tailgaiting, we enjoy the backroad drive.

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such a beautiful stadium setting

It is already busy even though we arrive an hour early. Tiger’s baseball is huge here, and the Yankees are no slouch, so it’s packed, a sold out game. We enjoy some snacks, some people -watching  (one of my fave hobbies, people are such fascinating creatures!) and a cold one before we head in.

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Plenty for the kids to do

We make it a point to come to spring training at least once a year when in FL. We usually come when there is a split squad and an un-Yankee team. We paid premium dollar for this game, $15. Once cleared through security, we take a wander around the stadium to check it out. They have been doing renovations for the last year, and it looks fantastic.

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the berm

The berm, a large grassy hill off the outfield, is where our “seats” are. I say “seats” because there are no seats in the berm. If you are a sitting type, you can bring a blanket to toss on the grass. If you are like us and enjoy standing and wandering, they have installed a ledge around most of it up above the grassy area, where you can catch a lean and have a place to set your drink.

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The ledge, this part has seating

We always buy cheap seats. Why? We never stay in them. It’s just way more fun, for us, to walk around and explore. And the seats are mostly in full sun here. And the sun always is blazing here in Florida.

There are a few food vendors on the berm, a full bar, and several beer stands. They have also installed a large roof over the area to provide shade. Which is a blessing every time we attend a game it is hot, hot, hot. We grab a beer, find some shade out beyond centerfield, and the National Anthem begins with the beautiful American Flag waving in the wind. The National Anthem always makes me tear up, I don’t know why. I guess I am more patriotic than I would like to believe.

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green uniform day

Game on! We watch the first few lackadaisical innings, me enjoying my beer and people watching, occasionally remembering to watch the game, and Bruce happily chatting with some gentleman about stats and such. This is generally how it goes. Bruce can easily talk to anyone, he has never met a stranger, and it’s ok with me. I talk (listen) to him a lot! It gives me a chance to wander off into my own mind, breathe, and enjoy the sun on my face.

When I am in these moments, I really want to be in the moment, and use all my senses to enhance the experience. Seeing the packed stands, the beautiful stadium, the bright blue sky. Hearing the fans, the kids, the announcers, the cheers, the crack as the bat meets the ball. Smelling the popcorn, the hot dogs, the sweat. Tasting the beer and popcorn. Feeling the warm sun on my skin. Try it sometime. Try it now. You can do it anywhere.

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a  new scoreboard

The game remains so-so. Not much happening. We finish our beer and move on to check out the other side of the berm. Seems even the crowd is somewhat subdued. Usually there is general rowdiness going on, but I am seeing none of this today. Security is very tight, and everytime it looks like someone is going to cut loose, they crowd around him or her. Geez, it is St. Paddy’s day. Lighten up little.

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me and my sweetie

We did find a friendly officer, I guess we didn’t pose too much of a threat, who saw us struggling to take a selfie. He was kind enough to help us out. Thanks Officer Rose of the Lakeland police force.

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Officer Rose

The Yankees score a few runs, the Tigers do not. We drink our water, wander, get another beer, enjoy some chats, and the game is over. It is a multi-pitcher no-hitter. Yankees win. It might be a long season for the Tiger’s if someone doesn’t light a fire under their ass. We will be attending a regular season game with the Tampa Bay Rays in April. I hope to see a better performance. Win or lose…it’s always a good time.

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Yummy!

The state of Florida has very bad traffic, and very bad drivers. And it’s St Paddy’s day. We were going to hang around Lakeland, but it just didn’t seem like a great idea today. We headed back to Tampa, to our favorite dive bar, Koozies, for a St Paddy’s day feast of wings and seasoned fries. They offered us corned beef and cabbage, but when I go to Koozies, I simply must have wings. They are the best I have found, and I have had wings in many states and places.

The sun in the heat of the day, combined with a full belly,  and a few beers, left us feeling drowsy. We decided to conclude our day with a movie at home, Grumpy Old Men Part 2. I love that movie. Walter Matthau, oh you are the best. Then it’s nighty, night.

Happy Birthday Grandma D. I love you….

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A Week in the Life

Thursdaybargain shopping

Tomorrow is a Tiger’s spring training game day. Tiger’s vs Yankees, and I haven’t a thing to wear. A day of bargain shopping, my latest hobby, is in order. Bruce and I will venture to Wesley Chapel, an upscale community in the Tampa Bay area.  Rule #1 when bargain shopping is to find the most upscale place around and head to their second hand stores. This is where I have the best luck finding quality items.

After breakfast and a quick walk, we loaded the cooler with some cold waters and out the door we went. Time to get away from the park for a while. Sometimes I pack a lunch when we venture out for the day, but today we are throwing caution to the wind and eating out.

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usually I buy dollar store glasses

I was supposed to have an eye appointment, but due to an insurance glitch, I do not have coverage in FL, so we can begin shopping nice and early. I mentioned earlier in the week it is spring break here, and in other parts of the  south, and it’s chilly today. If they can’t go to the beach, they are gonna be out shopping. It will be busy, and I need to swing by the mall.

I need a new pair of running shoes and I can save about $30 a pair if I go to the outlet mall here in Tampa vs the overpriced running store at home. The mall is very close to the upscale resale shops I need to go to. It is also a very lovely mall, as malls go, and is set up in a nice tropical outside atmosphere.

 

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my collection of Asics gel nimbus’s. I still use them all! 

I do not enjoy mall shopping at all. Even in nice tropical locations! I know the exact place I need to go and exactly what I need. We park and head directly to the Asics store, a quick stop by the Crocs store, and we are out of there.

Off to lunch at McDonald’s. What? Did you not think we ate McDonalds? I love McDonalds. It is my junk food palace. We do approach it sensibly. Since one bad experience with a giant big mac meal and a huge chocolate shake which resulted in longish afternoon nap, we have cut back somewhat.

Here’s a frugal tip: At the bottom of your Mcdonald’s receipt is an offer to take a survey. If you take the survey, just a few minutes long, you get a code to get a BOGO quarter pounder or egg mcmuffin. We usually have a survey coupon, but not today, so we ordered sandwiches off the dollar menu, shared a large fry, and had a couple waters. $6 lunch. Refreshed, we head off to the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores.

Both of the resale stores are set up nicely in beautiful buildings. And they are competitive with one another, which keeps things very nice for the consumer. Plenty of staff on hand to help you out (I get better service here than most upscale regular stores). And it smells good. Some resale shops smell less than nice.

We start with the Salvation Army. We should have come on Wednesday, half-price day, but it’s Thursday. I am searching for an orange t-shirt, size medium. The SA store has everything organized by type and color, but not size. The only disadvantage it has over the Goodwill store is you really have to check closely for stains on the clothing here. I go through the t-shirts, grab an armful, none of the orange ones fit, but I find a nice pink one, what the heck. It’s $1.99. Dang, I could have got it for a buck yesterday. I bite the bullet and pay full price.

Off to the Goodwill. This store is huge, they have everything. The shirts are all displayed together, but according to size here. I scan through to find any shade of orange. There are so many clothes crammed onto the rack, it is tough to get to them. I grab a few orangy t-shirts and head back to try them on. I find one that fits great, and feels great. I do not know fashion, I do not know designer names, I do not care about that stuff, but I do know  the feel of a quality made item. and this shirt feels great. It also has one of those locking devices on it so I know it must be a designer tee. I sheepishly tell Bruce I must pay $7.99 for my orange t-shirt. The above pic shows how it all comes together, but the result takes many, many trips to the dressing room. I am shopped out.

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dinner is served

We return home and throw together a quick pot of chili. I have not made it on the stove top in many years. Usually make it in the crock-pot. It was really tasty, and took very little time to prepare with my sous chef helping out. A pan of cornbread, and we are good to go.

Following dinner and clean-up, it’s out the door. Our timing is such that our nightly walks coincide with the sunset, so off into the sunset we go…

See you tomorrow. Game day!

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A Week in the Life

Wild Wednesday

I got a bit of a late start today. My internal clock has not yet adjusted to the time change. I don’t usually set an alarm, I try to wake up naturally when it gets light. Once it’s light outside I can no longer sleep. But it is still early in the year and it’s dark until about 7:45 here and that seems a bit late to start my day. Especially with my long run scheduled for this morning.

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letters from the grandkids make us happy

I rushed a bit through my morning routine, before the day got away from me. It was one of those weird Florida mornings where the air is cool and the sun is hot. So in the shade it’s chilly, hot in the sun. What to wear? Winter running short and standard capris for today. Which turned out to be overkill along about mile 5 out of 6. All in all a nice, easy run.

I finished my run and came home to prepare my smoothie, and my neighbors were having big fun playing with some bubbles, and I got to watch them frolic and laugh while I did the dishes.

None of our neighbors are from Michigan. The bubble folks hail from Rhode Island and have really cool northeastern accents. They live in a nice class A rig and are currently building a house here in Florida. Their son is a county sheriff officer, and keeps us informed on what’s happening around the area.

On the other side of us are a retired military couple with a sweet, I mean sweet class A with all the bells and whistles. They, like us are full-timers although they still own a home in Louisiana, which they rent while they travel. Her elderly parents are located in the area, and they help look after them in the winter months.

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Behind us, in a big 5th wheel, is a younger couple from Indiana (by young I mean younger, 40ish) who work-travel, following the husband’s work which involves something with IT and airports. She works from home as a corporate head hunter and has designed a cozy little office in a corner of her bedroom. With a computer and good internet, she is set. They are here for a couple years, then…who knows where his work will take them.

Behind the military couple, and rounding out our little corner of the RV park is another 5th wheel which houses a couple of snowbirds from New York State. Like most of the snowbirds, they will be departing at then end of the month. Snowbird season is around Jan-March. Snowbirds are a segment of the retired RVers, who own their homes, but enjoy escaping the snow, cold, and general sloppiness of the winter season.

The type of RVing we do is called full-timing. A fulltimer’s RV is their home. And there are a few subsets of fulltimers. Some like the neighbors, are working FTers, some are retired folks like Bruce with a SAHW (stay at home wife) who needed to breathe some different air, and there are some people have had to downsize due to financial reasons, and this type of living is what they can afford at the moment.

There are also some FTers who live an off-the -grid lifestyle, dry -camping (meaning they are not hooked up to a water supply)  and utilizing solar panels for power. These folks can be found mainly in the southwest where they can set up camp on anywhere on some huge spaces of government land for a minimal fee.

Then there is the weekend warrior RV crowd. This used to be us. We loved it so much, we had often dreamt of making FTing our life, and now our dream is a reality. I am so happy on Sundays when I don’t have to pack up and go home.

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RVer’s are a pretty relaxed and happy crowd. And here in the back row we all get along. Once in awhile the permanents (people who live in park models year round-sunbirds) and the RVer’s get in a tif, but it is pretty unusual.

In our community the small rigs and permanents are mainly located at the front of the park. The big rigs are toward the back with the 50amp power. We have a mid-sized rig, the smallest , and probably oldest, on the block. But no one cares. That is the beauty of RVing. Doesn’t matter if you are in a tent, pop-up, travel trailer, 5th wheel, class A. There is no status mongering here. We all are after the same goal. A bit of that freedom our American heritage promises us.

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Oh Canada

We are an international park though, and many Canadians also reside here in the winter. Most are from Ontario, and I would venture a guess there are more Canadians here than Michiganders. Some speak French, some just have that cool Canadian accent, eh? And to put an end to the rumor that Canadians dislike their healthcare system. Untrue, every Canadian I have talked to likes and is happy with their healthcare system. I have heard no talk of long wait times, and not getting into doctors promptly. So either the Canadians are either much more healthy than Americans and don’t go to the doctor as much, or somebody is pulling your leg…

After breakfast, and my bubble watching, I got on a few household chores. Housework is done on a daily basis here. If you don’t keep on top of the organization of a tiny house you will have a mess. It doesn’t take long to get it all done, but I am currently procrastinating on cleaning my blinds which appear to be holding a lot of dust. There is just no good way to clean them properly except slat by slat. Oh monotonous work….

Then it’s lunchtime, a bit of salad, and a bike ride. We were going to take a nice gentleman from Canada to see the big alligator today, but he forgot he had previous plans with his wife.

We ventured on to see if we could find the smaller alligators in the pond, we did see one, but the babies are skittish and like to stay under the water so it is hard to get a good pic.

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Spanish moss adorns the live oak tree

We left the babies to their swimming, and rode the Old Fort King Trail over to Wilderness County park, and sat among the ancient oak trees while we took a break and drank some water. The oak trees here are magnificent. The perfect type of tree to climb. I have not yet climbed one, but I am tempted.

Following the ride, we returned home to prepare dinner. Thursday’s are weigh-in day, so fish will be on the menu for dinner. Always good to have a light meal the night before you step on the scale.

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grilled flounder marinated in lemon vinaigrette-delish

We are not militant or obsessive about checking the scale, but I am a believer in a once-per-week weigh in. It’s just easier to deal with a pound or two over 5 or 10. And make little adjustments over large-scale changes. Anymore, for me, it is a health, over a vanity issue. I have a range and as long as I am in the range I am happy. If not, I adjust. Simple as that…weight control is not complicated. It just needs attention.

After dinner, another one of those walks, (oh that blood sugar has got to be looking pretty!), some TV watching, reading, and lights out for me. See you tomorrow….

A Week in the Life…

Tuesday-Grocery Day

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Tuesday is usually grocery day for us. We shop mainly at Aldi’s both here in Florida and in Michigan. A few months back I asked the cashier what was the slowest day of the week was. She said Tuesday. Tuesday it is. I also found it slowest around 2-2:30pm, so that’s what we shoot for.

Afternoon shopping is good because I blew off both my run and creating the menu and grocery list yesterday while enjoying a lazy rainy day. And now I will have time to get caught up on my duties as head nutritionist around here before the trip to Plant City.

Get up, do some deep breathing (my take on meditation) sip some coffee, journal a bit, and watch the news with Bruce is usually how I start the day. Today was no different. After the morning routine, I dug out my running gear, downed some oj, and set out to get four miles in.

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this is the trail I run on

After a nice refreshing run, the air was very cool and dry for once, I returned to the rig to whip up my morning green smoothie. I will leave the recipe at the bottom of the page. It is a recipe I concocted to get a couple quick servings of produce in, some quality carbs, protein, and fiber. It tastes good too!

Menu and grocery list are next on the agenda. When you live frugally, but aim to eat as healthfully as possible, a menu is a must. I love tasty, well-prepared food. I have no tolerance for boring bland food. Not in my kitchen! So I try a new recipe at least once a week. I now also have time to prepare fresh food daily. My sous chef Bruce, and I do a lot of prep ahead so it doesn’t become drudgery. My food service years gave me great knife skills, and Bruce is learning also. Truthfully, even when I worked, I made time to prepare good food. It is a priority in our home wherever it may be located or parked.

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my latest creation, carnitas!

From the menu I create the grocery list. Approaching grocery shopping in an organized manner is good for both the waistline and the wallet. This saves disorganization in both the grocery store and at dinner time.

Remember, shop the perimeter, avoid the middle where all the processed “food” resides. And get real friendly with your knives and cutting boards, you will use them often if you intend to live to eat over eat to live.

After a quick salad for lunch, don’t forget the protein; can’t live off veggies alone, it’s out the door for the half-hour (if traffic is good, it’s all about the traffic here in FL) trek to Aldi’s.

Fortunately, for once, I do not need to go to Walmart. The majority of our food is purchased at Aldi’s, but there are a few items, mainly health and beauty and RV stuff that require a trip to Walmart. Walmarts here in the south are crazy. There is virtually NO competition for them. I don’t enjoy shopping there, but I do save money over the pricier stores. So it is usually in the grocery day plan. But not today!

Should you want an awesome upscale grocery store and you are in FL, visit Publix. Such a beautiful layout, top notch gourmet items and deli, great service. It’s the whole package. Unfortunately, the prices are a bit high for our budget, so we only shop there on occasion, but we always enjoy our experience.

After a couple hours of modern day hunting and gathering, we headed back home, and did not get stopped by one school bus. Score! It is spring break for the public schools here in Hillsborough And the surrounding counties.

By the time we completed the round trip, and prepped everything to fit in the fridge, it was time to get dinner on the grill. Just some simple pork chops, a sweet potato, and some peas. I like an easy dinner on grocery day.

After dinner and dishes, we laced up our sneakers for our evening walk. The weather was about to turn cool for a few days and the wind was very brisk, but it felt amazing.

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pom-tail

After the walk, I whipped us up a couple of mocktails with some Pom, sparkling water, and a squeeze of lime on the rocks. Yum!

Time to settle in for an evening of ABC sitcoms, and a bit of relaxation before bedtime.
See you tomorrow…

Power Green Smoothie:

Ready to blend

Finished product

  • 1 c almond, soy, or cashew milk
  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • Banana (freeze if you like it more milkshakey)
  • 1/2 c blueberries
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp honey

Blend and enjoy! Three servings of produce to start the day. I enjoy a boiled egg with this, on the side not in it, and it bumps the protein to about 22g. Protein helps us feel full longer and also is the helps restore and repair the body. As I tell the grandkids, it makes you strong!